Online classes were once regarded as a pretty rare occurrence. Everyone that’s gone to college knows the struggles of having to carry heavy backpacks full of books to campus for a long day filled with back-to-back classes, but nowadays things look a little different. The covid-19 pandemic has brought to light that online classes aren’t as obscure or difficult to follow as they seem.
With them becoming more of a necessity than a choice for some, and with some universities implementing online teaching on a more permanent basis, read on to discover what the pros and cons of online vs on-campus classes are!
- Online courses offer a more flexible schedule
Online classes definitely allow for a more flexible daily schedule. Without the need to be present in college for a 9 am lecture on Tuesdays, students may be able to attend to other commitments, hold a job more easily and generally feel a lot less stressed out. However, online classes could take away from the social aspect of attending class in person!
- Tuition could be less expensive for online courses
Choosing a university can be very difficult but tuition fees are definitely a deciding factor. Some universities have lower tuition fees for courses that are taken solely online. There are also fewer expenses associated with it, for example, travel expenses or class equipment. On the other hand, the on-campus university experience can be very rewarding, unique and transformative. Many make friends for life and think the fees are totally worth it!
- Access to more courses online
Sometimes your local university may not have the course you’re interested in, and you may not feel inclined to leave the area you’re currently in. Online courses are an easy solution to this problem, as you’ll be able to access your ideal course from the comfort of your own home. It’s worth noting, however, that it can be the opposite scenario, where your ideal course is only available in person, it depends on the university so there are no guarantees!
- More networking opportunities
Xavier School an e-learning blogger at Writinity and Lucky Assignments Liverpool tells us- “ Doing an online course can connect you to other students around the world, as well as potential employers or work experience programs. Studying online doesn’t have to be passive, and if you make the most of the opportunities, the world is truly your oyster”.
- More self-discipline
Despite all the positives of online studying, on-campus teaching can be more structured and offer a more hands-on approach, which is exactly what some students need. Feeling engaged and focused on an online lecture can prove very difficult to many, as well as making sure to keep a schedule to study around the online lectures. Self-direction is key to succeed in an online degree and some students simply need a more dedicated approach.
- Lack of socialization
To some students, the social experience of university is just as important as the course itself. Despite there being online social events and opportunities, for some, this simply doesn’t cut it and is no match to face to face socializing. It all depends on what you want out of your university experience. Without a campus to attend to, the online experience can feel isolating to some, and a relief to others!
- No in-person support
Melissa Watts, a tutor at Research papers UK and Gum Essays shares her opinion- “ It can be difficult to feel supported through a computer screen. College is a very challenging time for some for various different reasons and offering both academic and pastoral support in person can make a huge difference.” When deciding, it’s important to consider factors outside of the course specifically!
There are many pros and cons to online and in-person learning, but it’s ultimately a decision you need to consider carefully and be sure to match your needs in and out of the classroom. Ask yourself important questions about what you value in education, what your lifestyle is at the moment and what you really wish to gain from attending college, as all of these will be deciding factors as to whether online or on-campus learning is best for you!